I am one of those very lucky people to still have my parents around, well into my “middle age” years. I talk with my mom every week and we still laugh about things from the past, as well as the world today. And while we are close, I never remember my mom ever giving me advice on life. Maybe it was because it was a different time then, embracing the theory of letting you find your own way, but looking back, it might have been helpful to have had something to guide me.  So, as my daughter graduates from college, here are words of advice I would have liked to have heard., which I am now more than grateful to be able to share:

  1. Celebrate your achievements!    So often in life we are working towards some goal and when achieve it, we may stop for a moment, but then move on to the next thing on our list. Take the time to savor the moment. You deserve to take in the praise, the sense of accomplishment – even if it’s just from yourself.
  2. Look to your heart for the answers that matter    Trust your gut. Things that really matter are not things that can be plotted in the mind. They are matters of the heart. If you want an answer, slow down and listen within. Let your heart guide you.
  3. Notice what others are doing   Be observant. Look around and notice what is going on around you – and then check it out inside to see how it lines up for you. Never be blind to others ideas. Follow through on those ideas that align with your values and release the rest.
  4. Never change to fit another person   You are a complete person. You do not need another person to complete you. Find people who complement you, who enrich you, who encourage you – but don’t ever feel you need to change to fit in. The only change you need to do is to move away from those who cannot accept you for being you.
  5. “No” is a complete sentence   Enough said. You have the right to say no. Utilize it when appropriate – and do not feel the need to explain.
  6. Be kind to yourself   The world can wear you down. Be your own best friend. Find ways to be kind yourself. Thank your body for supporting you. Celebrate your ideas. Take the time to rest and rejuvenate. Smile in the mirror.
  7. Never feel so ashamed that you can’t talk to anyone   We are as sick as our secrets. Don’t get caught in the trap of thinking that what you have done/thought/said is so horrible and shameful that you can never tell another person about it. It is what will bring you down. The reality is, there is very little you will do or say that has not been done or said before. When you can’t carry a burden internally any longer, reach out. It’s the only way to move beyond it.
  8. Be with someone who makes you laugh   There is no greater sound than the sound of laughter. Laughter has been proven to have health benefits. And to be with someone who makes you laugh, is a true blessing. Life is too short to go a day without laughing.
  9. When in doubt, go back to nature   When you are stressed or had a bad day, take a walk in the woods. Or the beach – barefoot. Nature soothes the savage beast. It allows you to breathe and become grounded again. Listen to the birds, sit by a stream or in a meadow. Pick some flowers. It’s healing power is unequaled.
  10. Let someone love you. You’re worth it.   We all have times when we are not capable of loving ourselves, for whatever reason. Let someone else love you until you can. And even when you are back on your feet, let someone love you. You, my dear daughter, are so very worth it!!